Auto Repair: How Can They Screw Up An Essential oil Change?
Auto Repair Shop
Auto Repair: HOW DO They Screw Up An Oil Change?
"It's about beating the time." This offer comes from a smart old service director, advising me on how to maximize my income as a flat-rate tech. If you have ever wondered why your car doesn't get fixed correctly, or your entire concerns weren't addressed, you can blame, in part, the flat-rate pay framework.
Flat-rate simply means that your auto mechanic is paid a flat fee for a particular repair, regardless of how long the repair actually takes. In other words, if your vehicle needs a normal water pump, which will pay two hours of labor, and the auto technician completes the work in a single hour, he gets payed for two.
In theory, this may work in your favor. If the work takes longer, you'll still pay just the "predetermined" labor amount. THEORETICALLY, not reality!
The flat-rate pay composition was created to drive productivity. It is rather effective. The flat-rate pay system encourages technicians to work hard and fast, but it does not promote quality.
In terms of getting your car fixed appropriately, the flat-rate pay framework has disastrous effects. Flat-rate technicians are constantly looking for shortcuts to conquer the clock to be able to maximize the number of hours they bill. Experienced flat-rate technicians can bill from 16 to 50 time within an 8 hour day.
It's these shortcuts and the breakneck quickness at which smooth rate technicians work that result in some of the most idiotic mistakes. In the rapid-fire pace of a shop I've observed technicians start motors with no olive oil. I've seen transmissions lowered, smashing into little parts onto the shop floor. And I've seen vehicles driven right through bay doors--all in the name of "beating the time."
Flat-rate technicians can get quite complex with shortcuts. My favorite was the implementation of an 6-foot-long 2-by-4, that was positioned under the engine for support while a motor unit support was removed. It made a job predetermined to consider 1.5 time achievable in twenty minutes. A win-win, right? The specialist makes extra money; you get your vehicle back faster.
Actually, in many cases the keeping this 2-by-4 broken the oil skillet. Moreover, it brought on the car, your car, to balance precariously 6 toes in the air, while the technician manipulated the automobile lift to access your engine support.
This tactic was abruptly discontinued whenever a technician's 2-by-4 snapped causing the automobile to crash nose down onto the concrete floor.
Sometimes the shortcuts create very understated disturbances, which create problems overtime. A quick example: a car had its transmitting serviced with a new filtration, gasket, and fluid. During the method, the technician was able to save time by twisting the transmitting dipstick tube somewhat, to be able to get the transmission pan out faster. The automobile was reassembled, and the technician re-bent the tube back to place and off it went--no problems....
Six months later, the vehicle delivered with an intermittent misfire. The engine wasn't operating on all cylinders. After intensive diagnostics, it was learned that the transmission dipstick tube got chaffed through the engine unit funnel, intermittently grounding out an injector. Hmm, that's unusual. Don't usually note that.
The high-speed environment and the next shortcuts demonstrate the devastating ramifications of the flat-rate, sales-driven pay composition on the quality of car repairs.
No question even an olive oil change gets screwed up!
The indegent quality of work inspired by the flat rate pay structure is disconcerting enough. Sadly, it doesn't stop here. The unwanted effects of flat-rate get exponentially even worse, as it opens "wide" the door to rip you off!